Sharing the National Collection: $116 million Rothko among artworks headed to Ipswich

Artworks by two giants of American painting, Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin, will go on display at the Ipswich Art Gallery in Queensland from November as part of the Albanese Labor Government’s Sharing the National Collection program.

On loan will be one of the National Gallery’s most valuable and treasured works of art, Rothko’s 1957 #20, valued at $116 million. 

The pieces from the national collection will be displayed for two years alongside works from the gallery’s own collection by Hanssen Pigott and other local Ipswich artists. 

Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, said sharing works like this shows the ambition of what can be achieved through Sharing the National Collection.

“The National Gallery of Australia’s collection belongs to all Australians.

“But at any one point in time 98 per cent of it is kept in storage – until now.

“Sharing the National Collection gets iconic pieces of art out of dark storage rooms in Canberra and lit up on gallery walls across the country.

“Having these pieces on display in Ipswich will be a game-changer for the Gallery, and I can’t wait to see them in their new home.”

Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann said he was excited to see these works of art on display in the Ipswich Art Gallery.

“Our local regional galleries punch above their weight in terms of providing access to exceptional art and artistic experiences to their local communities.

“Sharing the National Collection with the Ipswich Art Gallery exposes more people to world-renowned works of art that would not be available at a local level.”

Sharing the National Collection is part of Revive, Australia’s new national cultural policy, with $11.8m over four years to fund the costs of transporting, installing and insuring works in the national art collection so that they can be seen across the country for extended periods.

Director of the National Gallery of Australia, Dr Nick Mitzevich said Mark Rothko’s 1957 #20 is one of the Gallery’s most beloved works.

“Works of this tremendous calibre would not normally be available to regional galleries due to their high value and significance. Sharing the National Collection provides this rare opportunity to share these works with wider audiences.

“The possibility that young audiences in particular can see works of art like this in their local gallery can be a transformative experience.”

The works can be viewed via the National Gallery’s website.

Regional and suburban galleries can register their expressions of interest via this link.